I have written for article sites that encourage writers to bring more writers in, through referral links. There's usually a promise of a percentage of the referral's revenue, assuming they actually write once they join the website. I have watched the evolutions of several of these sites and there tends to be a pattern. The site goes live, offering better payments than most, and conditions favoring the authors. They provide a referral link and, without thinking, the first tier of authors populates the site with more authors. Once the site has a certain number of active authors, it changes its payment arrangement. The company cuts back on up front payments, lowers the amount paid out, and/or raises the amount of money you must have in your account before requesting a pay out. Then, the site slowly eliminates up front payments. The website no longer need to nurture or entice its users because there are enough of them to keep the site afloat. Having noticed this, I have stopped "chumming" for referrals for sites that encourage this sort of recruiting. Some has lamented my throwing potential money away because I will not get referral payments, but I'm looking at something else. Those payments don't mean nearly as much as being valued does. The fewer writers there are, the more valuable the existing writer remain. What have you noticed when writing for article sites that encourage referrals? Have you ever stopped seeking referrals to avoid being less valuable?